The solar park on St. Eustatius. (John van Kerkhof photo)
SABA/ST. EUSTATIUS–Effective from January 1, 2018, the Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) will establish new maximum tariffs for electricity and drinking water on St. Eustatius and Saba.
It regards the fixed distribution tariffs and the variable distribution tariffs St. Eustatius Utility Company STUCO and Saba Electric Company (SEC) may maximally charge consumers to cover the cost of the production and supply of electricity and drinking water. The ACM also re-establishes the connection and reconnection tariffs for 2018.
Pursuant to the Electricity and Drinking Water Act BES the ACM has the duty of establishing break-even tariffs. This implies that the ACM calculated what it cost STUCO and SEC to produce electricity and drinking water and to supply it to their consumers on Statia and Saba, respectively.
Taking the affordability of electricity and drinking water for, in particular, small households into account, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy and the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management made a subsidy available to reduce the fixed distribution tariffs for electricity and water.
On Statia the variable distribution tariff for electricity decreases from US $0.30 per Kilowatt hour to US $0.28 due to the commissioning of phase-two of the solar park.
The fixed distribution tariff for electricity increases by nine per cent due to the increased cost for STUCO’s distribution of electricity. The Ministry of Economic Affairs made a subsidy available to keep the fixed distribution tariff for the two smallest connection capacities at the same level as in 2017.
For drinking water, the variable distribution tariff on Statia increases from US $7.70 to US $8.34 per cubic metre of drinking water. With the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management’s subsidy the fixed distribution tariff remains at US $6.85 per month.
The underlying cost of the network per connection increased, caused by the fact that STUCO made investments in the production of drinking water. Besides, the cost of maintenance of the drinking water network increased.
On Saba, the variable distribution tariff for electricity will increase from US $0.32 per Kilowatt hour to US $0.36, as per January 1, 2018, due to the increased fuel price.
As soon as the solar park on Saba has been put into use, SEC is expected to charge a lower variable distribution tariff, as fuel will then be saved. The fixed distribution tariff will increase by five per cent due to higher cost at SEC.
On July 1, 2016, the Electricity and Drinking Water Act BES took effect. There are four types of tariffs: the connection tariff, the reconnection tariff, the fixed and the variable distribution tariffs. On July 1, the ACM established maximum tariffs for Statia and Saba for the first time.